International Federation of Training and Development Organisations

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The ‘70+20+10’ learning framework: new report on evidence based practice

Mon, May 23rd, 2016

The essence of the 70:20:10 framework is that learning can be considered as being roughly: 70% from on job experiences, tasks and problem solving; 20% from feedback and from observing and working with others and 10% from formal, classroom or online, training. A new, evidence based report from Towards Maturity looks at the actions behind the numbers and the impact upon performance.

At the heart of the 70:20:10 model is the notion that learning through experience as a part of daily work is likely to be the means through which more than two-thirds of the skills and knowledge for that job role are acquired.

Three key indices measure targeted L&D action in each area of the framework. The Workflow Index considers the extent to which staff are being encouraged to learn from and reflect on their experience; the way their performance in the workplace is actively supported by management; if access to resources has been simplified and if managers are equipped to encourage ongoing learning - aspects of the '70'. The Social Index considers the extent to which social learning is supported including how collaboration is encouraged; if L&D is aware of how staff are already collaborating and the attitude of the organisation to accepting innovation and new ideas - aspects of the '20'. The Formal Index addresses the extent to which formal learning interventions are aligned to business need; are user-focused, blended and flexible and that programmes remain relevant to work needs.

The individual indices for each aspect of the model enable an exploration of which, if any activity area, is perceived to impact business performance more than another. Comparing those in the top quartile and bottom quartile of each individual index, the data suggests that those in the top quartile of every index are twice as likely to report that they have:

  • Improved learning culture
  • Improved business responsiveness
  • Improving productivity/engagement
  • Improving individual processes
  • Improving learning efficiency

Compared with organisations not embracing the principles of 70 20 10 they are four times more likely top report that they respond faster to business change.  Interestingly also they are more likely to utilise technology to support learning activity, in all aspects of learning at work, and 50% more likely to use learning communities and communities of practice.

The report uses the research data to encourage review of existing practice; for example: How current provision supports the way that staff learn; Preconceived ideas about learning that might be hindering its impact; Practical ways to foster sharing and collaboration; The role of L&D in facilitating learning rather than delivering learning; and concludes with an action plan for embedding 70:20:10 into everyday practice.

The report concludes that In practice, those L&D leaders that are getting the best results through application of the principles embedded in 70 20 10 framework “recognise the value of learning across the spectrum and look at every workplace activity and conversation as an opportunity for learning. They take a holistic view of learning and see it as their responsibility to support it in all its forms”.

The report, which includes two case illustrations from Citi Bank and Telefonica, has been drawn from the 2015 Towards Maturity Benchmark™ research conducted online during June-August 2015 with over 600 leaders in learning and development and 1,600 learners. The Towards Maturity Benchmark Study is an internationally recognized longitudinal study on the effective implementation of learning innovation based on the input of 4,500 organisations and 23,000 learners over 13 years.

A copy of the report can be downloaded from the Towards Maturity web site at  although please note that a registration (no charge) is required.